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Poll

Which control scheme would you prefer for the weak/strong attacks

B for Weak, forward + B for strong
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B for Weak, A for strong (running only available in towns)
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Forward B for weak, B for strong
0 (0%)
B for weak, Y for strong (X used for own menu and X again to change to other characters menu)
0 (0%)
other (please post your suggestion)
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Total Members Voted: 0

Author Topic: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack  (Read 192032 times)

zhade

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #280 on: February 26, 2016, 02:39:18 pm »
This could be a bad idea, but about the run attack thing, and in general, the way your character goes from 0%-100% after attacking, would it be a good idea to make the character move similar to that when you are charging an attack during that time? Or would that too annoying?

Actually, in the very first version, it did exactly that, you walked slowly, with the charging/tangled animation, but in fact it did get annoying. I liked how it made it harder to not be touched by ennemies coupled with the reduced recovery time, but it was annoying when you just needed to swing your weapon to cut the tall grass in your way. It would have been better if it did like in sd3, like when there are no more ennemies in the area, you can move without restraints. But I don't know about sd3 but in som ennemies spawn when their are about half a screen away from the screen sides, and I guess the maps in sd3 were made with that mechanic in mind compared to som where in gaia's navel for example, there would almost always be an ennemy spawned somewhere.

I think it would be a good idea for the run-attack tho, since you could use the weak attack to cut grass anyway it shouldnt be as annoying and it would make the player vulnerable so you might think twice about run-attacking into a group of ennemies.

It doesn't really make sense with ranged weapons tho so those could keep the B / direction B controls controls I guess apart from the javelin which could use the melee attack when dashing making up for its small hit-distance.

Amarantheus

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #281 on: March 14, 2016, 11:43:30 pm »
Hi zhade, first off, let me say amazing work! This is what I was looking for when I was trying the HardSoM hack -- without being extremely grindy, and imo, underhanded with difficulty.

With that said, I do have one request (should you find the time/interest): Given the magnitude of this patch, could you provide optional decoupled ips components to mix and match?

That is, in addition to your standard patch, could you provide something like the following in an archive of sorts:
BetterAI.ips
MPAlwaysVisible.ips
BindableMagic.ips
RechargeRebalance.ips
StrongWeakAttacks.ips
ManualBlocking.ips
BetterBow.ips
StunRebalance.ips
FasterDamageDisplay.ips
CustomDifficulty.ips

I understand if some things cannot be separated (eg dependencies, inconsistencies, general breakage), so implementing the above would be strongly dependent on your understanding/expertise on the inner workings.

My reasoning in this being a good idea is three-fold:
1) Better compatibility with other authors' work, should more patches come out.
2) Much higher reception/popularity as players can more carefully customize their experience.
3) Easier development/testing on your part (if you are not already doing this privately). That is, if something breaks unexpectedly interactions would be much easier to track.

Please let me know your thoughts. :)

EDIT:typos

March 15, 2016, 12:56:41 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
On a similar note, this mod breaks FuSoYa's VWF patch. Behavior is as follows: game starts normally and accepts input until New Game/Load Game. Nothing else seems amiss, just no input is accepted.

That said, on a positive note, the following hacks are verified compatible:
SD2 Improvement
Item Limit "9" Patch
Secret of Mana Proper-caser

Install path was:
Using Secret of Mana (U) [!].smc (2,097,152 bytes) --
1) Add header
2) Apply "SD2 Improvement"
3) Remove header
4) Apply this patch
5) Apply "Item Limit "9" Patch"
6) Add header
7) Apply "Secret of Mana Proper-caser"
8) Optional. Remove header

March 20, 2016, 10:56:32 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Even with just applying this patch, bindable magic does not work. That is, I'm only using this patch.

Worse yet, due to disabling the traditional 'happy path' for casting a spell, I can't cast magic at all!  :( At this point (after getting Undine) this hack is unplayable...

March 21, 2016, 12:24:50 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Just an update, I had a custom binding for attack ('A'), setting back to 'B' allowed me to cast spells one off, but binding still does not work.  :-\
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 12:24:50 am by Amarantheus »

PerryR

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #282 on: March 25, 2016, 08:00:05 am »
While playing together with two friends we encountered some serious bugs which stoped us from playing the mod.
The magic system doesnt work for us. I think it has something to do when playing with three human players.

First you can now target dead characters with all spells. Bug?

Damage spells can be cast on allies! very annoying in fights.

Quick cast magic only works for player 1.  If player 3 binds heal spell, player 1 can quick cast that spell for him.

At some point in the game (around lvl 17) all the spells always hit the boy, no mather who was selected. We dont know how this happend, but from there on game was unplayable.


Maybe if you can fix these bugs we'll give it another try because this mod has some great potential. We realy like some of the ideas you came up with and the increased difficulty :)

zhade

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #283 on: March 25, 2016, 11:24:54 am »
I need a break from making my AI script editor, so I figured I should get back to this mod and fix the most important stuff.
One thing I really don't like about how I did this mod is that I sometimes just hex-edited stuff directly into the rom and thus there might be some stuff I forgot about in there which might end up causing problems that would be hard to find... so Im thinking about starting again using a clean rom and modify my assembler so that instead of directly writing on the rom, it writes on a copy to make sure nothing is forgotten. This means ill have to re-implement each feature one by one but at least the asm code is already written and I could also try to make seperate patches like Amarantheus said for some stuff like showing MP and other general features while im at it.

PerryR:
damn, does that bug that makes everything target the boy still happen after you reset/load a game from the menu ? if so, send me your .srm and ill look into it, maybe its a simple mistake that could be fixed quickly.

SpRoUt

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #284 on: March 26, 2016, 09:15:22 am »
Word take all the breaks you need bro. Everyone is waiting for the ultimate rom hack for SoM can't wait. If you need a tester or if there is something I can do to help let me know. I'm sure there is nothing I can do other than help beta test it. I wish you the best bro!!!!! Thanks for choosing secret of mana!!!!

Wolfric

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #285 on: March 28, 2016, 06:20:04 pm »
Well, this mod seriously offers a whole different way of playing Secret of Mana. So far it's been a blast!

DragonArk

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #286 on: March 28, 2016, 09:58:01 pm »
... so Im thinking about starting again using a clean rom and modify my assembler so that instead of directly writing on the rom, it writes on a copy to make sure nothing is forgotten.....

I was thinking this a few weeks ago, I recommend starting again, I think it will be annoying at first but I'm sure you'll definitely be glad in the long run! And yes, great idea about making it so we can apply hacks separately as honestly, I'm pretty happy with the vanilla magic. The only thing that annoys me about the vanilla is that the magic can be abused and cast repeatedly to destroy bosses with ease.

Pizzano

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #287 on: March 30, 2016, 04:28:55 pm »
My friends and I got around to trying out v .10 of your mod, so I wanted to give you our feedback.
  • The new magic system didn't work with our save. When the players tried to cast spells that they bound, sometimes the wrong spell would cast, other times nothing would cast, and other times the players would end up casting each other's spells. On top of that, the targeting system wouldn't work. No matter who they targeted with the spell, the game would target someone completely different.
  • I'm not sure if it's my SRM or I misapplied the mod or its the emulator. The MP displayed correctly for example, so I'm guessing that I applied the mod correctly. The SRM we're using was originally a vanilla Secret of Mana save then I used it for a while with an earlier version of your mod then we went back to playing vanilla Secret of Mana with the same save before trying out the current version of your mod, so maybe that's why we're having so many problems. I'll private message you a copy of my SRM, so you can see if you have similar issues when you try running it.
  • I love the idea of putting the mods out separately. I love the MP display, being able to walk to the edges of the screen, the improved bow, teleporting AI characters, and the extra glove and axe orb in the pandora castle treasure room. If I could get these changes without having to worry about the new magic or blocking system, this mod would be a lot less controversial with my group of friends. That being said, they haven't tried a working version of the new magic system yet.
  • At times I have gotten two orbs of the same type at once (spear and sword orbs I believe). This happened after returning to vanilla Secret of Mana after playing an earlier version of your mod. I have read on the gamefaqs forums that this happens when you miss an earlier opportunity to get that type of weapon orb. I'm not sure if that's true or if my game is just glitching out. If that is true, I was wondering if your mod that adds an extra glove and axe orb will give you double axe/glove orbs later on if you miss the earlier glove or axe orb?
  • A friend of mine had an interesting idea that I'm not sure if anyone else suggested. His idea was that instead of binding specific magic spells to different face buttons, it would be cool if you could bind a whole school of magic to a face button. Then once the face button was pressed, you could press one of three different face buttons to cast each one of the spells from that school of magic.

Ligeia

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #288 on: March 31, 2016, 01:25:18 pm »
  • At times I have gotten two orbs of the same type at once (spear and sword orbs I believe). This happened after returning to vanilla Secret of Mana after playing an earlier version of your mod. I have read on the gamefaqs forums that this happens when you miss an earlier opportunity to get that type of weapon orb. I'm not sure if that's true or if my game is just glitching out. If that is true, I was wondering if your mod that adds an extra glove and axe orb will give you double axe/glove orbs later on if you miss the earlier glove or axe orb?

This is not a glitch, it is a feature of vanilla SOM. By using it you can get the level 9 Sword : skip the fight against Mantis Ant (use a cheat code to get Flammie at the beginning for instance), and you'll get two Sword orbs in a row when you open the chests in Pandora. Then go fight Mantis Ant and you're set !

zhade

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #289 on: March 31, 2016, 03:35:01 pm »
pizzano, I tried your .srm, and I get the same results, I thought it would be easy to fix by copying the RAM area that the mod use for everything spell related from a working game.. but it still didnt work, so it seems more serious. Its probably what happened to PerryR too. I really have no idea atm on what could cause this, ill look it up while re-building the project using my now Oh-so-much-better assembler. Sorry, I thought I could fix your .srm and send it back to you without even knowing where the problem was, but I should have known better than to think it would be that easy :P That .srm will surely be helpful at tracking that bug tho. Other than the difficulty nothing is saved so any .srm should load fine (well.. in theory)

About making seperate patches, it could get troublesome to make them compatible with each other, but i've got an idea on how to do it. The patches would have to be applied following a strict order tho which will surely get alot of people to end up having problems. Also, the "gameplay" stuff should probably all be in the same patch or else the difficulty would be affected. So ill try to make some general stuff into different patches like showing the MP, CPU not getting stuck, walking to the edge of the screen and probably other stuff I don't have in mind right now. Feel free to suggest stuff I could make into a seperate patches, since im just starting to re-work my code and later it could be troublesome

Ligeia : Should be fun to wait until you have the 8th orb to go back and beat the crap out of mantis ant and receive the ultimate sword as a reward for this pathetic boss fight :P

Pizzano

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #290 on: March 31, 2016, 06:05:23 pm »
pizzano, I tried your .srm, and I get the same results, I thought it would be easy to fix by copying the RAM area that the mod use for everything spell related from a working game.. but it still didn't work, so it seems more serious. Its probably what happened to PerryR too. I really have no idea atm on what could cause this, ill look it up while re-building the project using my now Oh-so-much-better assembler. Sorry, I thought I could fix your .srm and send it back to you without even knowing where the problem was, but I should have known better than to think it would be that easy :P That .srm will surely be helpful at tracking that bug tho. Other than the difficulty nothing is saved so any .srm should load fine (well.. in theory)
I'm just happy that I was able to help at all!
So ill try to make some general stuff into different patches like showing the MP, CPU not getting stuck, walking to the edge of the screen and probably other stuff I don't have in mind right now. Feel free to suggest stuff I could make into a separate patches, since im just starting to re-work my code and later it could be troublesome
I would add to that list the improved bow (that can fire twice as far) and the extra glove/axe orb in the Pandora Castle treasure room.
4. I was wondering if your mod that adds an extra glove and axe orb will give you double axe/glove orbs later on if you miss the earlier glove or axe orb?
Zhade, I don't think you answered this question. Also, if I start using the mod again, is it possible to return to the Pandora Castle treasure room to get the extra glove and axe orb if I've already passed it at this point in the story?
5. A friend of mine had an interesting idea that I'm not sure if anyone else suggested. His idea was that instead of binding specific magic spells to different face buttons, it would be cool if you could bind a whole school of magic to a face button. Then once the face button was pressed, you could press one of three different face buttons to cast each one of the spells from that school of magic.
Zhade, what did you think of my friends idea for an alternative magic quick cast system?

theonyxphoenix

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #291 on: April 01, 2016, 08:12:07 am »
BetterAI.ips
MPAlwaysVisible.ips
BindableMagic.ips
RechargeRebalance.ips
StrongWeakAttacks.ips
ManualBlocking.ips
BetterBow.ips
StunRebalance.ips
FasterDamageDisplay.ips
CustomDifficulty.ips

Of these, I don't necessarily see what you would want to leave out.  Especially since the balancing and difficulty scaling will be based on the inclusion of many of these. Better AI, Faster Damage Display, MP Display, Optional Difficulty, Stun Rebalance, Recharge Rebalance...I think that these have made improvements overall.  The magic binding, blocking, and strong/weak attacks I can see being a change from vanilla, however the game is perfectly normal without using any of those things.

While the magic binding is handy, especially on the harder difficulty...it doesn't fundamentally change the game.  Truly, the few things that I see being my personal favorite ideas implemented or talked about are:  teleporting party members not getting stuck, the increase in difficulty option, elementals joining at higher levels based on when you obtain them (to avoid having to grind them), and potential magic/weapon rebalancing to make all the spells useful.  Of course, the latter would be the biggest move from vanilla as you are changing the properties of the spells/weapons themselves from the original game instead of just enhancing them.

I suppose you could categorize the changes into "enhancements" to vanilla which don't change the mechanics or attributes but allow for improvements that don't affect gameplay and "overhaul/changes" which would require more rebalancing and would need to be used in combination with one another (i.e. gameplay difficulty and anything changed to balance around that).


Amarantheus

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #292 on: April 01, 2016, 03:37:19 pm »
[...]
Of these, I don't necessarily see what you would want to leave out. 
[...]

For me, the biggest advantage is the ability to provide meaningful feedback (QA). As I'm not the developer here, this would be the closest way I'd be able to provide technical bug reports. That is, the ability to tease out which aspect (read: IPS patch) is breaking between versions and the ability to 'rollback' aspects to continue testing would be incredibly useful to me (and I hope to zhade). Moreover, people generally have different opinions on how the game should function -- why exclude people with a rigid vision if it's not necessary?

At any rate, I recommended these patches be provided in addition to the regular 'combined' patch.

zhade

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #293 on: April 03, 2016, 05:03:35 am »
pizzano:
"I would add to that list the improved bow (that can fire twice as far) and the extra glove/axe orb in the Pandora Castle treasure room."

-Improved bow is added to the list ! About the orb in pandora : I'm not even sure it really is there in V0.10, I know I managed to make it work but can't remember when lol.. it is a good idea for a seperate patch either way tho.

I think I only modified the chests in pandora, chests have a kind of target level and keep reappearing until you have the right orb level so I guess one of the chests for each weapon won't appear at all later.. altho I might actually have edited the other chests too.. hum.. that one of the things that would be easy to know if I didnt just edit stuff straight in the rom without taking notes :P But yea, when I will be done with it, if you skip the treasure room, the next chest will give you 1 extra orb

"A friend of mine had an interesting idea that I'm not sure if anyone else suggested. His idea was that instead of binding specific magic spells to different face buttons, it would be cool if you could bind a whole school of magic to a face button. Then once the face button was pressed, you could press one of three different face buttons to cast each one of the spells from that school of magic."

-I had a somewhat similar idea, but the problem with it is that once you have selected the school of magic that you have previously bound to a button, there would be no way to know which spell each button will cast, unless you have tried it already and remember it by heart. The best would be to have little spell icons appear around your character showing you what A/B/X/Y will cast. I'm currently trying to decipher how the graphics/sprite animations are handled and I think I could manage to make the icons appear but seeing how the game makes every ennemy black and white when you enter the ring menu, I think the palettes might be limited and also more sprites on the screen might make the game start to have slowdowns. If it is possible, I will try to do something similar. My idea was to add a kind of second layer to the button bindings, so instead of binding Undine to A and the casting cure by pressing A, B for example, you would have to press 2 buttons when binding a spell so you could group spells that have similar effects together like 4 sabers spells on A, 4 attack spells on B etc.. it would make it easier to not make a mistake and cast an offensive spell on your party and give you a total of 16 hotkeys instead of 4, at the expense of having to press 1 more button to cast spells. It would be hard to remember all the buttons when continuing a saved games after a while tho so having some visuals is probably the only way to make more than 4 spell binding practical.

Ligeia

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #294 on: April 03, 2016, 10:48:06 pm »
Okay, so I finally got around to test your hack and started a new game. I must say I love all the changes, except one : the magic biding feature. What I would want is the same hack but with the vanilla magic system. I'm gonna go in detail :

- AI controlled characters don't get stuck
Great idea, of course, and well executed.

- MP is shown at all time
Nice touch, and useful.

- Binding magic spells
My main issue with the new magic system is that choosing a spell doesn't interrupt the game anymore. But since you can now target allies with black magic and enemies with white magic, you need to be extra careful and take time to choose the target with a glitchy head-cursor which doesn't help either. I could not use the biding system as it felt too confusing in battle and always ended up casting on the wrong target. This new system kinda ruined the whole thing for me. That's why I didn't get very far (I stopped playing after getting Gnome)

- Magic recharging time
This is a nice idea to add some difficulty, it takes some time to get used to, but I like it.

- Strong/Weak attacks
Very good, the control scheme is perfect for me (B for weak and forward+B for strong)

Manual blocking
I love the idea, it's a bit hard to get it right in-game, but when you do it it feels very rewarding. It definitely adds something in terms of challenge.

- Enhanced bow
Awesome, now the bow is actually useful, and even becomes one of the best weapons of the game.

- Reduced hit-recovery time / Reduced damage/healing time
Great idea ! Adds some challenge, now you actually have to pay attention to enemies' routines and be careful when moving around them not to get hit.

- 3 Difficulty settings
Very good idea. I played on hard, didn't get very far as previously mentioned, but it definitely felt more challenging than the original without being cheap or unfair.

Here's an idea : why not adding a sword ord as well, so we can finally get lv.9 sword without cheating ?
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 07:00:41 am by Ligeia »

theonyxphoenix

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #295 on: April 04, 2016, 02:55:21 pm »
"Here's an idea : why not adding a sword ord as well, so we can finally get lv.9 sword without cheating ?"

Put it in the lighthouse. Give that place some purpose, at least.  :P

SageOwl

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #296 on: April 04, 2016, 04:22:39 pm »
"Here's an idea : why not adding a sword ord as well, so we can finally get lv.9 sword without cheating ?"

Put it in the lighthouse. Give that place some purpose, at least.  :P
Not a bad idea.

zhade

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #297 on: April 05, 2016, 02:21:12 pm »
I could try to make the whole Magic binding/targeting system into a seperate patch altho that one might be hard to do because the magic recharging time is kind of hard-coded in the same places :P I have to redo how magic works anyway (because of that weird bug that pizzano made me aware of) so I'll keep that in mind and see what I can do.

About the Strong/Weak attack controls:
I am so used to it now that I dont think it would make sense to change it. Changing it for Y (the poll's favorite) would make it annoying to switch between character menus.

About the sword Orb:
Only adding a chest to obtain the lvl9 sword would make the game very easy.
The level9 sword has a power of 127, compared to the level8 sword which has 52 and the level9 spear with 56.. it would increase your damage output way too much lol. And I can't just reduce it either because the last boss has an insane amount of defense that only an insane amount of power can get through. It should be possible to instead increase the boost that the mana magic grant to the boy or something so that the sword is obtainable before the final fight, but I personally don't mind not having the level 9 weapons since they don't have a new charge-attack :P

Vanya

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #298 on: April 05, 2016, 05:46:06 pm »
I like the idea of having the extra sword orb available. And if it can give an otherwise pointless area of the game a purpose, then all the better.
Also, I agree that rebalancing the weapon's power and Mana Magic boost to compensate would be needed.

Atrushan

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Re: Secret Of Mana Gameplay Improvement Hack
« Reply #299 on: April 05, 2016, 06:15:48 pm »
I don't remember if I've suggested this before or not but instead of character faces if you could make the icon over the target the spell icon it'd be a lot more readability.

As for the level 9 sword thing,  couldn't you edit the boss himself to make him more difficult? That should solve the problem of it being too easy. You could also shift some of his defense into hp or another start so that you could nerf the damage on the sword to something a bit less op. I was also thinking about the charge attacks. Would it be possible to make them into button combos and maybe only allow the boy to use them? Also if so, what do you think about that?